The challenge

Love Language, the BSL experts, had a challenge: How do you make a brand which speaks equally to D/deaf and hearing people alike?
Their original brand had tried to achieve this with a classic iconographic style. The problem was that without movement, it’s difficult for anyone who doesn’t know BSL to understand what it meant, or how to sign it.
We worked on a colour matched system, incorporating life and movement into the brand while making sure that hearing and D/deaf communities were able to understand it and, more importantly, learn what it meant.

Brand family

The brand had to be versatile. Love Language were on a mission to better the lives of D/deaf people through a range of solutions. Together we created a brand family, identifying a unique palette for each sub-brand and creating a beautifully engaging illustrative style in the process.

Engaging education

In the process of building the brand, as a hearing team, we had many revelations about the difficulties experienced by both hearing and Deaf when communicating. We set out to build highly engaging and visually impactful courses, which were subsequently rolled out across all Apple stores in the UK.

Uncharted waters

We were often in unfamiliar territory. For example, when researching ‘Deaf-friendly websites’, we discovered that no 50/50 hearing / Deaf website existed. We were appalled at the lack of research and innovation that had taken place, with most D/deaf companies having solely English websites, which are unhelpful for a D/deaf person who is not bilingual.
We also discovered that things we’d taken for granted as children were not available within the current education curriculum for D/deaf children. One example was the alphabet song, of which every language in the world has a version. Since BSL has the poetic equivalent of music, we combined a powerful hand-clapped rhythm (that can be felt) with poetic hand movements, to create the world’s first BSL alphabet song!

Secret superpowers

By working so closely with the Love Language team for so long, and learning BSL in the process, we realised that being D/deaf was not so much a disability, but more like a lingual minority group.
Sign language is a hidden superpower, allowing its speakers to talk internationally (with ISL), to speak to one another across the office from afar and through windows, to talk underwater, or even with your mouth full.
It’s an incredible visual construct tool to empower people with dyslexia, autism and anyone who struggles to communicate traditionally.
We learned that the D/deaf can ‘hear’ just as well as the hearing, albeit with their eyes. This led to the development of the ‘Two Hear’ campaign, which was shortlisted for a D&AD Impact award and led to the formation of a new joint venture to support Deaf education, called LoveLearning.

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